ALDI has become the latest retailer to cut broiler stocking densities for broilers to 30kg/sq m, following Tesco making the same announcement last week.

The supermarket said the change would be complete by the end of October this year, giving birds 20% more space than the previous UK standard of 38kg/sq m.

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In addition to Tesco, the Co-op, Morrison’s and Lidl have announced the switch to 30kg in the past year, with Marks & Spencer and Waitrose signed up to the full ‘Better Chicken Commitment’.

It means a majority of British chicken reared for the major retailers will now be at a lower stocking density.

Asda and Iceland are the only remaining retailers currently sticking with the Red Tractor standard.

Living conditions

Julie Ashfield, managing director of Buying at Aldi UK, said: “Animal welfare is of paramount importance to us.

“We’re already one of the UK’s largest providers of responsibly farmed chicken and we’ve been working hard with our suppliers to reduce stocking density to help us improve the living conditions of these animals.”

The Human League welcomed the change – but as with other retailers called on the supermarket to switch to slower-growing breeds.

“We will always celebrate improvements to the lives of animals, and Aldi are right to give their birds more space.

“However, while the wave of supermarket stocking density commitments brings us closer to the Better Chicken Commitment, the breed of birds is being neglected,” said campaign manager Claire Williams.

She also pointed out that Aldi had signed up to the full BCC in both Germany and Spain.